How I Learned to Quiet Doubts With Self-Discipline


Fear is an important emotion to alert us to potential danger. It sparks our fight or flight response to keep us safe. But fear as a warning sensation is different from feeling as if you are in a chronic state of worry. When you feel anxiety about your relationship, your career, your children, or your finances, it invades your brain and inhibits your intuition and self-discipline. This is threatening; we need our guide – research shows that our inner voice helps us with self control.


I once was in a relationship where I lived in a constant state of unease. Uncertainty ran rampant. I never knew when my significant other would come home from work, if he would come home drunk, if he had been in contact with his ex, if he was going to spend a lot of money on a “boys trip”…the list of my anxieties went on and on. There were times when I found my voice and communicated how these behaviors made me feel. And there were times when I expressed nothing. My communication system failed me in trying to resolve this problem. My endless worries silenced my inner voice. Without my guide to listen to, I could not find a way to be true to myself in this relationship. So I left.

Today, my life story is far from finished – I don’t know where I am going to live when my lease ends in 4 months, I have huge exam to prepare for at work, I don’t know who my future in-laws will be, or when I will be able to do 10 real pull-ups. Uncertainty is a given and learning how to deal with it is a part of living a less stressful life.  Yet there are certainties. I have tapped self-discipline to solve problems and reassure doubts:

woman question pixy

  1. Ambiguity about your next home

There are people and (free) resources to help you find your next residence. Apps like Zillow  put you in the driver seat of your quest. With filter options for price, location, pets, and more, you can launch a map of available dwellings in seconds from your device. From there you can instantly call or email the listing agent or landlord.

Bring in experts and apps to assist.


  1. Overwhelmed about a huge exam

Get out the calendar and make a study map. You have 13 chapters to cover in 6 weeks? Schedule them in your calendar with one buffer week for any unforeseen circumstances – i.e.: your sister’s wedding weekend. Print it out. Stick to it. Research suggests dedicating a 20 minute chunk of time to a single activity, so find your best time of day to study and make that your uninterrupted-phone turned off time. You can get back to everyone in 20 minutes, after your well deserved study break!

Make a study plan. Print it out. Follow it.


  1. Vagueness about your future family

Visualize what you want and law of attraction says that this will bring it to fruition. You do not have to know who or when or where, just believe that it is coming to you. Once you have visualized it, congrats, your work is done. As mentioned in a previous post, the best part of uncertainty is that anything is possible! I suggest getting some insights from inspiring reads like [amazon template=product&asin=1582701709].

Envision your life. Trust it will be. Get on with your day.


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Kelly Christiansen

A top columnist at MsCareerGirl, marketing guru Kelly Christiansen has 10+ years of strategic leadership experience and is a Senior Marketing Strategist on the Health Care team at Kahler Slater, an architecture firm in Wisconsin. An avid reader, runner, and recipe experimenter, you can follow Kelly on twitter @kellymc247

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